Arts & Events

“Celebrating Puget Sound Theater”: Continuing Exhibits


It’s difficult to miss those detailed exhibits that are periodically changed in the library.

The current exhibit, which has been up since February 8, is entitled “Celebrating Puget Sound Theatre.”  As the name suggests, this particular exhibit presents a glimpse into the process of and effort that goes into performance and production at the University of Puget Sound. On display are items from campus productions such as 1620 Bank Street and Kiss Me Kate.

According to Theatre Liaison Librarian Lori Ricigliano, with showcases displaying everything from playbills and production notes to costumes and lighting hardware, the idea is for the exhibit to serve as a “general celebration of the creativity, collaboration, and imagination of the Theatre Arts department.”

“The exhibit is a rare and special opportunity for the public to get a glimpse of objects rarely seen outside of a campus production. It showcases the wide range of creative work that goes into a theatrical performance,” Ricigliano said.

And, in keeping with the underlying theme of the exhibit, the objects chosen are representative of the complex theatre production process, emphasizing everything from design to dramaturgy.

The display case of In the Next Room, or the vibrator play is a personal favorite for Ricigliano.

“It brings together all the pieces of the play in one space and highlights the collaborative nature of theatre,” Ricigliano said of the In the Next Room display. “There are director’s notes from Sara Freeman, costume renderings by Mishka Navarre, and a model by Kurt Walls. And, of course,… antique vibrators!”  The theatre exhibit continues a tradition of carefully chosen exhibits that are driven by a desire to enhance overall learning and showcase what the Puget Sound community has to offer.

In explaining that core goal, Library Director Jane Carlin referred to the library’s philosophy. “At Collins Library, we believe that art and exhibits enhance the learning experience. We hope that our exhibits delight, surprise, motivate and inspire,” Carlin said.

There is no formal committee that selects exhibits, but each new exhibit is carefully selected, with extensive research, preparation and engagement with staff and student associates alike.

“Celebrating Puget Sound Theatre” was prompted by a previous exhibition of costume models crafted by Puget Sound students under the direction of costumer and Costume Shop Supervisor Mishka Navarre.  The present exhibit was also inspired by archive collections and the extensive contributions of the theatre department that were apparent during preparation for the 125th Anniversary Exhibit that documented the history of Puget Sound.

The library has also played host to an incredible variety of exhibits such as a travelling exhibit on Charles Darwin from the National Library of Medicine.  “Our goal is to showcase resources within our community and that relate and support the curriculum and library collections,” Carlin said.